Power cuts at Secret World

Secret World will be experiencing a power cut on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th February 2020 and so our capacity to answer calls and take animals in will be temporarily limited.


Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for how you can get in contact if you need to.

In the meantime, you can take any injured wild animals to your local vet.


We will resume normal service as soon as possible, and will let the public know as soon as we do.

Two weeks to go til SWWR Wildlife Conference 2020

There are just over  two weeks to go before the second SWWR Conference on Saturday 29th February and Sunday 1st March 2020, with a theme of making a difference in conservation (Saturday) and wildlife rehabilitation (Sunday).


On the Saturday Mark Jones, Head of Policy at the Born Free Foundation, will open the conference with his personal thoughts on how we can all ‘make a difference’. Becki Lawson from ZSL and the Garden Wildlife Health project will discuss their ongoing citizen science project and recent findings from it. Back by popular demand will be ‘bat man’ Daniel Hargreaves, this time discussing his involvement in a bat conservation project in Trinidad. John Corder will present a personal perspective on wildlife reintroductions, focusing on pheasant species but also touching on mammalian projects he has also been involved in. Quintin Rayer will introduce us to ‘ethical and sustainable investing’ and how we can make a difference with money. Debbie Bailey from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and High Peak Badger Group will close the day presenting details of the very successful badger vaccination program that she co-ordinates.


On the Sunday Frances Baines, a veterinary surgeon with a special interest in the use of UV light will open the day, looking at this often forgotten but essential area of animal management. David Couper from RSPCA West Hatch will discuss many aspects of seal rehabilitation and Liz Mullineaux, a wildlife and emergency vet, will speak about on how we can improve wildlife first aid. Phoebe Vaughan from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust will discuss all aspects of handling birds, from individuals to large groups and Danny Chambers will discuss some of the emotional and mental health issues facing veterinary professionals and wildlife rehabilitators. Finally, Pauline Kidner the founder of Secret World Wildlife Rescue, will share with us just some of what she has learnt in over 30 years of wildlife rehabilitation.


There will be an opportunity for interactive discussion with a panel of speakers at the end of each day. For those wishing to stay for both days, there will also be the opportunity to meet for dinner on the Saturday evening (please email: lizmullineaux@mac.com NOW if you want to come for dinner).


Standard price of  £80 per day or £150 for both days, but  with a special discount on these prices using the codes:

SWWR10DAY for £10 off one day

SWWR20WKND for £20 off the weekend


Further information and booking go to: https://www.secretworld.org/event/british-wildlife-conference/

Christmas Shoe Box Appeal

Secret World Launches Wildlife Christmas Shoe Box Appeal
The days are getting shorter, it’s getting colder, and our British wildlife is preparing itself for the winter. Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill, is making an appeal for donations for the animals to see them through the winter months.

Christmas is a time for giving and it would be wonderful if the poorly animals being cared for at Secret World were able to enjoy a little treat during the festive season.

Animal carers at Secret World are asking members of the public and schools to get involved and send us shoe boxes filled with goodies that will help us look after the wild animals in our care throughout the winter.

Ellie Wallace, Learning and Engagement Officer at Secret World, said: “This is a great opportunity for children and schools to get involved with caring for British wildlife. Making up a shoe box of enrichment and food is an easy and fun way to engage children and get them to think about the needs of wildlife.”

If people want to donate for a specific animal, the list below details what is appropriate for each species.

– Dog meat (any variety)
– Dog biscuits (any variety)
– Custard creams (for weaning badgers)
– Dog Kong toy (for enrichment while they are at Secret World)
– Peanuts

– Dog meat (any variety)
– Dog biscuits (any variety)
– Chew toy and Dog Kong toy (for enrichment while they are with us).

– Cat meat (meat or poultry flavoured in jelly, no fish)
– Cat biscuits (meat or poultry flavoured, no fish)
– Fleece blanket
– Vet bed
– £15 for materials to build hedgehog shelters
– Hay bale (maybe too big to fit in a shoe box but great for hibernation material!)

– Fat balls
– Wild bird seed
– Peanuts
– Dried mealworms
– Bird feeders
– Sunflower seeds
– Plastic tweezers

The shoe boxes can be brought to Secret World Wildlife Rescue, New Road, East Huntspill, Highbridge, Somerset, TA9 3PZ, or to our charity shop in Burnham-on-sea.

Charity Shop Volunteers Required

Would you like to help raise funds for Secret World?

We are currently looking for volunteers to help out at our Charity Shop in Burnham-on-Sea. Various shifts required and training provided.


The role will involve merchandising and displays, operating the till and assisting customers with purchases.

If you have an interest in retail and are a good communicator we would love to hear from you.


Please visit https://www.secretworld.org/volunteer/ to download an application form or call 01278 768703 to speak to Clare Davies.



Wild Blog, Part 25

World Animal Day 2018

This social movement has been raising awareness of the need to raise global animal welfare standards. T.V’s Chris Packham is getting behind the event and challenging wildlife lovers to raise money for British wildlife. As one of the south wests biggest wildlife charities we too are supporting World Animal Day. Chris Packham, one of our patrons commented “Secret World is caring for British Wildlife in an amazing way. They are wonderful people doing wonderful things”. We are asking for support to get us through what is looking like being a busy Winter period. As little as £3 will feed a poorly bird and every penny counts. The challenge made by the television presenter comes after one of our long standing supporters completed a 1600mile motorcycle journey in aid of Secret World. Robin Seymour visited 26 Harley Davidson dealerships around England, Wales and Scotland. Robins challenge took him from Surrey to Scotland and back to our centre in East Huntspill. To donate to Robins challenge, visit his just giving page ‘Robin Seymour Ironhog 2018’.

Manx Shearwater

Two of the incredible seabirds and rare inland visitors have been brought to Secret World over the past few days. These enigmatic birds are ocean wanderers, mating for life, they usually only come to land to breed on grassy clifftop slopes but breeding season is over making their arrival especially unusual. The bird was collected by one of our volunteer response drivers and when it arrived at our centre created quite a stir. Amazingly, the very next day another Manx Shearwater was found when it walked in to a house in Taunton. Spending most of their lives at sea, these birds have not developed a fear of humans so the homeowner would likely have had quite a shock.

Both birds were assessed at Secret World, stabilised and then transferred to RSPCA West Hatch where they have special facilities for sea birds. Animal carer Dan Bryant said “It was amazing to see the birds but right that we should pass them on to West Hatch who have experience of these incredible birds”.

Whiskered Bat.

This beautiful small bat was found clinging on to the grill of a car. This amazing and usual sight must have been a shock for the kindly person who alerted us to it. These little bats were only identified as a separate species in 1970 and news of its arrival spread quickly through our team. The bat is now being cared for by our animal carers. Look out for next weeks blog to get an update on its progress.

Cirque de Secret World

Dont forget that our circus themed ball and auction is next week on 13th October. This is sure to be a great night with life music and entertainment. See our website for details.

Wild Blog, Part 24

Injured Swan Gets The Help It Needs

A swan which had been unable to eat has been brought in to Secret World to receive the care it needs. A member of public spotted the bird at Portishead Nature Reserve who saw that it appeared hungry and distressed so it was brought in to the centre to be assessed. The lump was found to be grass or mud after being removed by the animal carers and the swan was then given fluids to rehydrate before being out in a pen to recuperate from its ordeal. Once he is fit enough he will be released back where he was found, whenever possible animals are released back where they are found as it is familiar and they will be easily able to access food and water. In 2017 Secret World treated 212 water birds.

Gannet in Distress

Another water bird which has been admitted to us this week is a Gannet which had been blown in land from the coast in the recent stormy weather. Luckily, a homeowner spotted the unusual garden visitor grounded and in need of help. The bird was brought in to our centre to be assessed and was found to be cold and wet but with no obvious injuries so was given fluids and warmed up, he was then put in a pen to get some rest. Once the gannet was fit enough he was transferred to to West Hatch RSPCA who had other birds he could mix with in their pre-release facilities. Once he is fit and healthy he he will be released back by the sea.


Three tiny and helpless baby hedgehogs are being hand reared by one of our volunteers after sadly being abandoned by their mother. The tiny hoglets had been cowering under a shed, one baby had crawled out in search of its mother who was nowhere to be seen and after being spotted by the homeowner Secret World were alerted. They were brought straight to us and were found to have no injuries but were far too tiny to fend for themselves.Volunteer Jenny Warring is now caring for the trio off site which enables her to feed them every few hours around the clock. It is vital they put on enough weight before they are released to allow them to hibernate through the winter months, if they are arent able to they will stay in Secret Worlds hedgehog hotel “Hogwarts” until spring when they will be released when the weather is warmer. Currently Secret World is caring for 50 Hedgehogs but this number is expected to swell as Autumn and Winter are testing times for these declining animals.


A tawny owl which had been treated here at Secret World and was about to be released back in to the wild has been found to be suffering from an eye ulcer. Its release was delayed while a vet examined the owl which has now been given the all clear.

The Wild Blog, part 23

It is really important that we have suitable sites to release wildlife once they have made a full recovery. With this in mind we were delighted when local holiday resort Unity dedicated a piece of woodland on their site to us for releases. Pre-release pens and aviaries have been constructed in the woodland and a new hide has been built so visitors can engage with the woodland wildlife. We are always looking for sites which are suitable for releasing the wild animals that have successfully completed their rehabilitation. We always aim to release adult animals to the spot they were found where food and water supplies are familiar, but orphaned animals have to be released to a new location. Our release manager Jamie Kingscott said “This year we have been able to release several different animals in to the woods at unity farm, which is not only great for our rescued wildlife but also for the woodland ecosystem. Mick (the head gardener at Unity Farm) has been a huge help, always keen to put his skills to good use to help wildlife, and we are very grateful for it.”

Feeding time!

This week we have around 50 hedgehogs on site, and this figure is set to rise dramatically with the onset of autumn and winter. The colder months are testing times for hedgehogs as food sources will be in short supply. When they arrive at Secret World they are underweight and often suffering from parasites. We feed the hedgehogs on a diet of meaty cat food in jelly and cat biscuits to help build their strength up. This can get expensive when we have a lot of hungry mouths to feed, and so we are asking for donations to help get our prickly patients through the winter season. Animal care section leader Dan Bryant said “We are expecting a lot more hedgehogs to be admitted over the winter, when nights get colder and they struggle to find food. Feeding and treating them becomes expensive and stretches our resources so we are asking for donations of cat food and biscuits to help the little creatures put on the weight they need to get through hibernation.”


Our beautiful resident Tawny Owl, Star, has had a visit from the vet this week after some attempted amorous behavior with a wild interloper! Star has suffered from damage to the top of her beak after trying to get to a wild owl on the other side of her pen. She has been left with a small injury which has been assessed and treated by a vet, and she will soon be back to normal!


One of our squirrels

We need your help foraging for food for 5 energetic squirrel orphans. We try to feed our orphaned squirrels on the food they would naturally find in their habitat, so with this in mind we are asking for your help to search out their favourite foods in parks, woodlands and even your garden. This will help us get them fighting fit and ready to be released. Foraging is a great way to get out in the countryside and learn more about these precious habitats, especially in the name of helping these youngsters.


The Wild Blog, Part 19

This week has seen a special visitor to Secret World in the form of a water vole. It was exciting for us, as these rare creatures are seen in decreasing numbers due to habitat degradation. This lucky Vole, who we have called Walter, had found himself washed out to sea. Incredibly, he managed to find his way back to shore. Having been given a full check over and some rest in his very own swimming pool, Walter has now been released back in to the wild. We were sad to see him go, but glad that he has been given a second chance back in his natural habitat.

On a slightly less pleasant note, a buzzard was brought in by our response driver Cindy after getting stuck in a slurry pit at West Hunstspill Sewage Treatment Works. The very smelly bird was given a wash straight away! Once he was dry and feeding he was placed in an aviary exclusion pen to be given the best chance of recovery and to build up muscle. He is now looking majestic and is set to be released soon. Laura Benfield, who is our head of animal care, said “It is likely that the buzzard was after a small mammal running over the crust of the effluent material, but his weight made him sink in and he was unable to get out”.

Have you been following our work and wondered how you could help us? One way is by becoming a volunteer response driver. This crucial and exciting role is a vital link in the chain of getting sick and injured animals the help they need. We need people to pick up injured animals and bring them to us, and also to assist in releasing animals once they have recovered. You can put your name down for hours to suit your availability. If this sounds like something you are interested in then you can find out more on the volunteer section of the website.